Thursday, 27 April 2017

Today's favourite.....Alliums

I love alliums. The ornamentals with their white, blue, pink and purple flowers, Allium moly with its yellow blooms and all the edible alliums out there, which are both beautiful, fascinating and the mainstay of so many recipes.
I've grown millions of them over the years.....
Well perhaps millions is a bit much but we grew houses full of them for early planting schemes and often for gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show where they are often seen in multiple gardens. They're fairly easy to grow in the ground or a container, just needing regular watering if they are in pots or containers. 

And I'm particularly loving them today as they start to burst their buds in many of the Incredible Edible Bristol gardens across the city, including the Bearpit Garden.
I do have favourites. Globemaster has an extraordinary flower and grows up to 4ft tall so amazing planted in drifts. 
I'm also a big fan of Allium christophii with its enormous purple blooms with their individual star bursts. Growing to 2ft tall it's great for the front of a border.
But the edibles are also just as useful as ornamentals as they are as edibles. Chives flowering make a wonderful clump of purple globes, or white if you use garlic chives and although they can be a bit prolific in terms of self seeding, they're great to dig up and move around or give away.

I'm also a big fan of the Egyptian Walking Onion, for their fascinating way of deciding where they're going next, adding interest to any edible garden.
And of course not only are they all great garden plants, they're also vital for our pollinators, and support a really biodiverse garden.
So hooray for the alliums!!


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